Just after the bags are unpacked from spring break travel and folks are confirming final details of their summer vacation plans, the voice of Tennessee legislators has been heard in a bipartisan manner: The price of gasoline is hurting our citizens.
Tennessee's House of Representatives has passed a resolution to be sent to President Barack Obama condemning his "rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline," the picture of a shovel-ready project to create jobs and benefit America's citizens.
In a state home to the variety of mountains, rivers and music, Tennessee is the destination of many seeking rest and fun. This region also is the crossroads of the South, as interstate highways come together here and serve as a nerve center for commerce.
Whether the impact is to the family budget, the independent truck driver or a small or large business, energy costs have exploded, with attention directed primarily to the gasoline pump that has no mercy, only an upward trend in pricing.
Why the focus on the Keystone pipeline in the midst of gasoline prices upwards of $3.70 per gallon?
The application for this 1,700-mile, 36-inch pipeline was received by the U.S. Department of State in September 2008. The pipeline would transport up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada to Oklahoma and Texas.
The draft report of the environmental impact studies, released in April 2010, that have provided cover for the foot-dragging of the Obama administration actually speaks to the "limited adverse environmental impacts during both construction and operation." The report also noted that if the pipeline were not built, "crude oil would likely be shipped to countries outside of North America, which would require new infrastructure that would result in environmental impacts at least as great as those of the proposed project."
Obama has been busy catering to his environmental base in delaying and ultimately rejecting a jobs-creating agreement with Canada, an ally. His lip service to an "all of the above" national energy policy has been exposed.
Mr. President, it's the time of choosing. You'll either lead our nation to effectively utilize our God-given naturally resources for our own benefit and prosperity or you'll choose political patronage that shackles American interests to foreign oil and directly costs each citizen.
Choose America first.